WIKIGAP – LET’S CLOSE THE INTERNET GENDER GAP

  • kigali

    WikiGap Kigali Photo: Embassy of Sweden Kigali

Wikipedia is the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopedia, and its content has the potential to colour our view of the world. However, women are under-represented on Wikipedia, as in many other parts of society. We want to change this. Sweden is the first country in the world with a feminist foreign policy. The #Wikigap initiative and event is about realising this policy in both word and deed. #WikiGap gathers people around the world to add more content to Wikipedia by and about women. The Swedish Embassy in Kigali is excited to take the #Wikigap initiative to Kigali and push for more spotlight on Rwandan women on Wikipedia.

Sweden has a feminist government and pursues a Feminist Foreign Policy. Promoting gender equality is also one of the key priorities in Sweden’s development cooperation with Rwanda. In short, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is about women’s rights, resources and representation. Representation is powerful, without representation of women in spaces traditionally dominated by men, gender equality cannot be achieved. On International Women’s Day this year, we will contribute to one of these spaces being more gender equal than before. The space we are talking about is Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopedia. Knowledge is power, and Wikipedia has the potential to colour our view of the world. However, there is great imbalance between men and women on the website, as in society at large. Ninety per cent of those who add content to Wikipedia are men and there are four times more articles about men than women. The figures vary regionally, but no matter how you look at it, the picture is clear: the information about women is less extensive than that about men. This is regardless of which language version of Wikipedia you read. We want to change this.

With #WikiGap, we want to improve the representation of women on the internet. We want to ensure that there are more women on Wikipedia. #WikiGap is an event during which people around the world will gather to add more content to Wikipedia about women figures, experts and role models in various fields. With Sweden’s embassies as hosts, we are increasing the representation of women on Wikipedia. #WikiGap has already been planned in more than 30 countries, from Sweden to Vietnam, Egypt and Colombia and of course Rwanda. The Swedish Embassy in Kigali is proud to be a part of this initiative to contribute to more articles being written about Rwandan women. We want to shine a light upon Rwandan women who have been or still are politicians, sport stars, musicians, scientists and entrepreneurs and other women that in one way or the other have contributed to their community and this country.

A #WikiGap event in Kigali will be organized by the Swedish Embassy in Kigali on International Womens Day March 8. More information will come shortly. But already now, start thinking about what Rwandan women - or what events, areas or processes where Rwandan women have played an important part - that should be described on Wikipedia. Using the hashtag #WikiWomenRw we will gather suggestions of Rwandan women who deserve (more) space on Wikipedia. Together, we want to bring about a more gender-equal internet and a more gender-equal world. Welcome to join us.